It was during a town hall meeting held last month that Meridian city councilman Bobby Smith first proposed the idea of altering the way residents living in historic districts can go about making changes to the exterior of their property. Smith said at the time he wants to make it where residents would have to go through city council before being able to make any drastic outdoor changes.
"Paint colors will be a portion of it," Smith said. "You don't want a purple house in an old historical district. You have to take notice to what the old historical district is like. Some of them are from 1800. You just want to do them back like they used to be."
Smith, along with councilwoman Mary Perry and councilman Jesse Palmer, Sr. traveled to Hattiesburg last week to see what officials there have done to preserve the city's historical districts. Palmer tells me he was pleased with what city officials there have done to preserve historical structures..But some residents here have already expressed concern about the cost of doing that.
"When you go in and take a historical place and refurbish it, you are going to get tax credits," Palmer says. "So actually, you'd be paying yourself by taking on that project. So we don't want them to be fearful."
Newscenter 11 reached out to council president Barbara Henson for a comment, but she says she prefers not to comment until she sees an official copy of the proposed changes.
Palmer says nothing will be decided upon until council members have an opportunity to meet with members of the public first.